Archive for February, 2014

What The Flock!

February 28, 2014

Happy Friday! Check out this wonderfully un-choreographed avian ballet with Pachelbel’s Canon in D as accompaniment–simply fantastic. I’ll be murmuring about this one all day.


\mur-muhrey-shuhn\, noun;

1.  an act or instance of murmuring.
2.  a flock of starlings.

College Basketball 2014, Week Seventeen!

February 27, 2014

127The Spartans shot the lights out against Purdue on Thursday night to win easily and claimed a half-game lead over the Wolverines leading up to the showdown in Ann Arbor on Sunday. Unfortunately, the same team did not show up to play and lost to the Wolverine who take over the top spot of the Big Ten after sweeping the Spartans this year.  Amazingly enough, the Big Ten conference continues to have five (5) teams in the AP top-25 (Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio State), but they have all managed to slip out of the top-ten.  Florida is the new #1 team and Wichita State is the only undefeated team left in college basketball.   Next up for the Spartans: the Fighting Illini of Illinois on Saturday.   Go Green!

The upsets among the top-25 this week included:
Syracuse (#1) losing to Duke (#5) by six (6) points.
Duke (#5) losing to unranked North Carolina.
San Diego State (#6) losing to unranked New Mexico.
Cincinnati (#7) losing to Louisville (#11) by one (1) point.
Michigan State (#13) losing to Michigan (#20)
Iowa (#15) losing to Wisconsin (#16) by five (5) points.
Iowa (#20) losing to unranked Minnesota by six (6) points.
Connecticut (#22) losing to unranked SMU.
UCLA (#23) losing to unranked Stanford.
Gonzaga (#25) losing to unranked BYU.
Gonzaga (#25) losing to unranked San Diego by three (3) points.

The close calls (wins by six points or less [two scores]) among the top-25 this week included:
Florida (#1) defeating unranked Vanderbilt by three (3) points.
Florida (#2) defeating unranked Ole Miss by four (4) points.
Syracuse (#4) defeating unranked Maryland by two (2) points.
Villanova (#9) defeating St. John’s by three (3) points.
Creighton (#11) defeating unranked Seton Hall by one (1) point.
Michigan (#16) defeating unranked Purdue by one (1) point in overtime.
Kentucky (#18) defeating unranked LSU by one (1) point in overtime.
North Carolina (#19) defeating unranked North Carolina State by one (1) point in overtime.
Memphis (#22) defeating unranked Rutgers by five (5) points.
Memphis (#22) defeating unranked Temple by three (3) points.
Texas (#24) defeating unranked Baylor by five (5) points.

The losses to higher-ranked teams among the top-25 this week included:
Texas (#19) losing to Kansas (#8).

Here’s to Libraries, Week Six!

February 26, 2014

BeineckeRareBookThe Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University (Connecticut) is, according to their website, “one of the world’s largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts and is Yale’s principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books.”  Built in 1963, the library has roughly 500,000 volumes and several million manuscripts.

“What is more important in a library than anything else — than everything else — is the fact that it exists.”  (Archibald MacLeish, Pulitzer Prize winning American poet and former Librarian of Congress)

Source: photo courtesy of  (BuzzFeed).

Disney Meets Vivaldi!

February 25, 2014

While we remain in the throes of winter, why not spice it up (or perhaps just take your mind off of it for a bit) with this wonderful rendition of Disney’s “Let It Go” (from Frozen) combined with Vivaldi’s “Winter” (from The Four Seasons) courtesy of The Piano Guys.  Very inspiring music indeed.

Exercise Caution!

February 24, 2014

cautiondemotivatorI know I probably shouldn’t start the week with a demotivator, but sometimes, I just can’t help myself.  I’m sure you have all heard the phrase “taking the bull by the horns” which generally means 1) that you confront a problem head-on and deal with it openly, or 2) you forcefully attack a difficult situation.   This phrase is based on the idea that holding a bull (male cow) by its horns is a brave and direct action.   The phrase “grab life by the horns,” was originally an advertising tagline for the Dodge automotive company and means that you are enjoying your life to the fullest extent, that you are not letting anything hold you back from doing what you want.  Unfortunately, as this wonderful demotivator (courtesy of so aptly illustrates, grabbing anything by the horns is sometimes a risky proposition.  Or, a bull named “Life” didn’t appreciate being grabbed.  Happy Monday!

PB&J for Grownups!

February 23, 2014

Peanut butter and jelly is not just for kids . . . with a little creative flair, you can spice up this sandwich staple to make it even more pleasing to grownup  palates.  The March issue of Men’s Health magazine shared three variations on this theme to come up with three unique flavor combinations to hopefully whet your appetite for a PB&J.  Of the three, the one containing the bacon (courtesy of chef John Currence) is the obvious winner in my book — crunchy peanut butter, banana, bacon, molasses, and marshmallow cream (melt butter in a skillet and brown the sandwich on both sides).  Yum.

“The key is toasting the sandwich.  You’ll add another element of texture and enhance the flavors of the stuff inside.”  (John Currence)

A second one (courtesy of chef Spencer Rubin) features apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, peanut butter, mild cheddar, honey-raosted peanuts, and a bit of honey (also browned on both sides).

“A great PB&J isn’t just for lunch.  It deserves to be enjoyed for breakfast or dinner too.”  (Spencer Rubin)

The third combination (courtesy of chef Marcus Samuelson) features peanut butter, cloves, nutmeg, orange zest, Thai chile pepper, and apricot jam (toast the bread ahead of assembly).

“What makes PB&J so addicting is the sweet and salty combination.  The trick is to really go beyond the norm: use spices, sea salt, bacon [yeah, that’s what I’m talking about], or candied ginger.  There’s a way to do it that is simple but adds so much flavor.”  (Marcus Samuelson)


February 22, 2014

If you have a fear of spiders, then this blog post may not be of interest to you.  The good news: it is not a real spider, but rather, an origami version . . . simply awesome!  So, now that the weekend is upon us, check out this YouTube video (courtesy of PaperFoldingChannel) and spend a little time conquering your fear by folding!

Must Have Technology Skills for Educators!

February 21, 2014
Happy Friday!  As ;the weekend rapidly approaches, let us ponder the growing list of “must have” technology skills that today’s educator should possess.  Below is the list of the 20 basic technology skills that all educators should now have (and I would hazard to guess that this list could be expanded beyond the teaching profession).  The advent of the computer and computer-related technology make it no longer acceptable for educators to be technology illiterate.   In addition to being literate, educators must also find the time to keep up with and/or improve their technology skills . . . because the technological landscape will continue to change (and quickly), I guarantee it.  Check out the entire article here.  How many have you mastered?
  • Word Processing Skills
  • Spreadsheets Skills
  • Database Skills
  • Electronic Presentation Skills
  • Web Navigation Skills
  • Web Site Design Skills
  • E-Mail Management Skills
  • Digital Cameras
  • Computer Network Knowledge Applicable to your School System
  • File Management & Windows Explorer Skills
  • Downloading Software From the Web (Knowledge including eBooks)
  • Installing Computer Software onto a Computer System
  • WebCT or Blackboard Teaching Skills
  • Videoconferencing skills
  • Computer-Related Storage Devices (Knowledge: disks, CDs, USB drives, zip disks, DVDs, etc.)
  • Scanner Knowledge
  • Knowledge of PDAs
  • Deep Web Knowledge
  • Educational Copyright Knowledge
  • Computer Security Knowledge

Source: the t|h|e Journal website.

College Basketball 2014, Week Sixteen!

February 20, 2014

127The Spartans continue to operate without two of their starters, Dawson and Appling, who continue to rest and heal from their respective injuries.  The backup point guard, Trice, as well as the Spartan bench, is getting some valuable experience/playing time in Appling’s and Dawson’s absences.  The Spartans had an easy time hosting Northwestern on Thursday, but were unable to get past Nebraska on Sunday (even with the limited return of Keith Appling)  . . .  despite the loss, he Spartans remain tied with Michigan at the top of the Big Ten (both with three losses now) with the big showdown coming up next week in Ann Arbor.  In the Big Ten conference there are still five (5) teams in the AP top-25 (Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio State), but they have all managed to slip out of the top-ten.  And, following Syracuse’s loss last night, there is now only one undefeated teams remaining in college basketball: the Shockers of Wichita State.   Next up for the Spartans: the Boilermakers of Purdue this evening and then the Wolverines of Michigan on Sunday.   Go Green!

The upsets among the top-25 this week included:
Syracuse (#1) losing to unranked Boston College by three (3) points in overtime.
Arizona (#2) losing to unranked Arizona State by three (3) points in double overtime.
Villanova (#6) losing to Creighton (#18).
Michigan State (#9) losing to unranked Nebraska.
Michigan (#15) losing to Wisconsin (#21)
Memphis (#20) losing to Connecticut (#24) by five (5) points in overtime.
Pittsburgh (#25) losing to unranked North Carolina by four (4) points.

The close calls (wins by six points or less [two scores]) among the top-25 this week included:
Syracuse (#1) defeating unranked North Carolina State by one (1) point.
Florida (#2) defeating unranked Auburn by five (5) points.
Arizona (#4) defeating unranked Utah by four (4) points.
Duke (#8) defeating unranked Maryland by two (2) points.
Kansas (#8) defeating unranked Texas Tech by one (1) point.
Villanova (#9) defeating unranked Providence by three (3) points in double overtime.
Saint Louis (#10) defeating unranked George Mason by four (4) points.
Saint Louis (#12) defeating unranked VCU by two (2) points.
Virginia (#14) defeating unranked Virginia Tech by four (4) points.
Iowa State (#16) defeating unranked Texas Tech by six (6) points.
Virginia (#17) defeating unranked Clemson by only five (5) points.
Creighton (#18) defeating unranked Butler by five (5) points.

The losses to higher-ranked teams among the top-25 this week included:
Kentucky (#14) losing to Florida (#3).
Texas (#19) losing to Iowa State (#16).

Here’s to Libraries, Week Five!

February 19, 2014

libraryHere is a picture of the graduate reading room of the Suzzalo Library @ the University of Washington (in Seattle).  This library was named for Henry Suzzallo, (the president of the University of Washington)  President Suzzalo stepped down in 1926, the same year as the completion of the first phase of the library’s construction.  The architectural style is collegiate gothic and was inspired by Suzzallo’s stated belief that universities should be cathedrals of learning.

“I spent three days a week for ten years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college.  People should educate themselves — you can get a complete education for no money.  At the end of ten years, I had read every book in the library, and I’d written a thousand stories.”  (Ray Bradbury)

Source: photo courtesy of  (BuzzFeed).